Food Banks in Hartlepool and Redcar have been given a welcome pre-Christmas boost thanks to the generosity of companies housed in two of the area’s leading business centres.

More than 80 small businesses are based at the two Innovation Centres, run by UKSE, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary. Business owners and their staff were all determined to make their regular Food Bank collection despite a difficult and busy year and UKSE itself contributed £100 worth of supplies to each Centre’s collection.

 “We know that many people who are in work, as well as those who are unemployed, are really in need of the support provided by Food Banks and, obviously, Christmas can be a particularly difficult time,” said Joan Cook, Administrator at the Hartlepool Innovation Centre who, with colleague Paula Addison, organised the collection.

“There is a friendly atmosphere here with businesses supporting each other and the local community and we all know that the Food Banks can be a lifeline.  We have organised a collection for about eight years now and I think this is the best year ever for contributions with not only a lot of necessities being donated but also Christmas treats for the children.”

At Redcar’s Innovation Centre on the Kirkleatham Business Park, UKSE’s Sue Kirk and Diane Parker thanked all the tenants who donated everything from tinned goods to seasonal items.

Both Food Banks are part of the Trussell Trust’s network and Paul Anderson, Deputy Co-ordinator at Hartlepool, was on hand to collect the donations.

“We are very grateful for the continued support we get from the Innovation Centre tenants and staff as many people struggle at Christmas and general demand has risen steadily in recent years,” he said. “It is lovely to receive such generous donations and be able to help give families a better Christmas.”